Candyman, directed by Nia DaCosta, has no scares and drags on for ninety minutes. The plot pays homage to the 1992 film while failing to capture any of its thrills. The artistic approach is admirable, but it must not come at the expense of chills.
A timid child sees a tragedy in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green public housing buildings in the late 1970s that will have huge ramifications decades later. Cabrini-Green has now been gentrified and transformed into an upmarket hipster enclave. Troy, a flamboyantly gay man, pays a dinner visit to his sister Briana and her struggling painter boyfriend, Anthony. He dims the lights and shared the Candyman’s gruesome tale. To call the killer ghoul, say his name five times in the mirror.
Anthony decides to explore the history of the Candyman legend in quest of new inspiration. Burke, the owner of the laundromat, raised in the Cabrini-Green projects inspires Anthony’s artistic rebirth which is sparked by his account of Helen Lyle’s tragic fate as told by Burke.
His paintings became the talk of the art world in Chicago. Anthony is ecstatic with his newfound fame, until the people who came to his show start dying. He begins to doubt whether the legend is true. And why is a bee sting on his right hand becoming increasingly painful?
Candyman employs shadows and puppetry to depict America’s tumultuous lynching past. This is a powerful method to depict heinous racial violence. The passionately detailed murders contrast with the stark black and white visuals. Reverse imagery is also used by Nia DaCosta to emphasise the mirror theme. Her first choices are intriguing, but they lose their shine with repeated use. The message of racial reckoning delivered by DaCosta and the screenwriters is absolutely obvious.
While seeing Candyman, I didn’t jump or experience any anxiety at all. To be clear, Candyman isn’t a dull film to watch. There is a lot of creativity on exhibit. It’s simply not as compelling as a horror flick should be. More surprising components were required by the filmmakers. The fear tactics are clear and fail to elicit the desired reaction. That’s especially disappointing given how terrifying the original film was.
Expectations must be kept in check here. Anyone who watches this film with an artistic eye will enjoy it. This edition will be moderate in comparison for genre lovers hoping to be scared out of their wits. It will be released on August 27th.